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Weddings can bring out the best — and the worst — in people. There are some people who simply mean to be helpful, but can be a little too helpful — and no, we're not talking about mothers of the bride or groom. Rather, there are three other family members who may be potentially troublesome.
Your man's sister can be your best ally — or your worst nightmare according to April Masini, relationship expert and columnist at AskApril.com. Like your mother-in-law, she's known your fiancé longer than you have and will always be a part of his life. "She's here to stay," says Masini, "and if she chooses to leverage her power, you will have a worthy challenge in front of you! My advice is to diffuse any problems you may have with her. If the fight is about details, let it go. Let her win. Keep the big picture in mind, that is, you're marrying the man of your dreams." Alisa Ruby Bash, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with a private practice in Beverly Hills suggests talking to your fiancé and asking him to intervene if he feels comfortable doing so.
Sometimes, no matter how much sisters love each other, they may feel competitive with one another despite their best efforts not to. If you feel that your sis may be envious of you, which is causing her to act out, be gentle. Bash advises: "Realize that this may be something that's triggering her insecurities and she just can't help herself. Try to be compassionate. In a quiet moment alone, ask her if anything's bothering her that she might want to talk about and allow her to express what she needs to."
Your (or His) Grandmother
Grandmothers get special dispensation: They've experienced a lot and earned a position of respect in the family. Always hear her out, smile, and say yes — then quietly do what is right for you and your fiancé. It may be worth it for the relationship to take her suggestion. If not, realize that it's just never going to be worth it to get into a confrontation with Granny. More than likely, she'll be so taken with the moment that she won't notice you didn't take her suggestion. If she hasn't forgotten, apologize politely and simply say, "We couldn't make it work out."
No matter who you are dealing with, remember that you will have to compromise some, says Bash. Look at each demand, she advises, then decide whether you can live with it or if it will ruin your day. Realize that it's ultimately about you and your husband-to-be — not everyone else.
Jolène M. Bouchon is a regular contributor to Brides.com and a freelance writer.